Muslim Moniker Double Standards

Craig Henry:

Why is it wrong to use Cassius Clay or Lew Alcindor but OK to use Jose Padilla or call Suleyman al-Faris by his old name John Walker Lindh?

Patrick Frey has similar thoughts.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. slickdpdx says:

    I can see your point, but I think the major reason is to highlight the important part of the story. i.e. “He’s converted” and “He’s not a traditional arab despite the name”.

  2. Bithead says:

    The issue is one of respect. If taht’s what they wanna be called, fine. THe level of respect you ahve for the individual drives your response to that request.

    Arguably, Ali deserves it.

    Unarguably, Padilla and John Walker Lindh, do not.

  3. Well, the non-Muslim names are the names used in court documents, presumably because legally (at least according to the documents that show they are citizens) they’re Jose Padilla and John Walker Lindh.

    Plus, public figures seem to get freer rein to rename themselves without going through the legal motions than criminal suspects. Otherwise, Sean Combs (now going by “Diddy,” last I checked) would be spending 90% of his time standing in line at the DMV getting his driver’s license changed to reflect his nom de jour.